DEIVATHIN KURAL # 104 (Vol # 7) Dated 10 Feb 2014
(These e-mails are translations of talks given by PeriyavãL of
Kanchi Kaamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the
pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by
Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as
Deivathin Kural. Today we are going ahead from second paragraph in page No 787
of Volume 7 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that herein ‘man/he’
includes ‘woman/she’ too mostly. These e-mails are all available at
http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated continually)
at home within a family, if the father is too considerate and innocent, it is
the son who has to be smart, aware of the ways of the world and demonstrate
some strictness in their dealings with the world. Thus here too in Sri Sailam, it is the elder
son of the divine family who woke up to the demands of the situation. The extreme difficulties in reaching Sri
Sailam meant that the benefits that the devotees stand to get would also be
that much more effective, isn't it? But
being an 'Ãsutoshi' even in other temple towns, a little bit of pleading with
some cajoling will mean that they will get away with anything! It is this 'Ãsutoshi'
who keeps on distributing largesse as something 'extra', 'free' and 'bonus' to
35. Kãsi is
like the capital among such stations and it was the rule that those who die in
Kãsi will directly go to Mukti of Self-Realization without any more
continuation of the cycle of birth and death.
But subsequently many other Siva Kshetrãs were accepted as equal to Kãsi
or even more! Like it is said about
'Kumbakonam' that it is as good or even better, 'Kumbakonam, kãsikku veesam
adhikam' – 'கும்பகோணம், காசிக்கு
வீசம் அதிகம்'! PiLLaiyar decided that there shall be no more
dilution of standards and returns. He
went to his father and said, "The benefits that would accrue to a devotee
by a visit to Sri Sailam should not be given to anyone else. I will keep an account of whosoever really
visits here. Only they should be given
that something extra / bonus and not everybody else! You have a very kind heart
and so anybody can get away claiming that they have been to Sri Sailam. (As a son he couldn't tell his father that he
is easily duped!) I will sit there in
the outer periphery of the township and note down their place of origin, name
and the date on which they visited Sri Sailam.
I will then show the list to you and then accordingly you may distribute
the benefits." Swami accepted this
suggestion with a 'tadãstu' – 'तदास्तु'!
36. In the outer limits of the township,
there is this Ganapathy known as 'Sãkshi Ganapathy', as a statue of immense proportions with
one leg folded comfortably and one hanging down from the seat. The upper two hands are holding 'pãsam' – 'पाशं' that is,
lasso and 'ankusam' – 'अङ्कुशं' that is, the goad, like the Ganapathy
statues everywhere. It is in the lower
two hands that there is difference as seen nowhere else, in which he is holding
palm-leaf manuscript in one hand and the sharp pointed nail known as 'ezhuththu
ãNi' – 'எழுத்து ஆணி' with which to write on the palm-leaf. These two are meant for him to take down the
name of the visitor, identifications, place of origin as to from where he or
she had come and the date. We have to
report to him on arrival and at the time of departure. The first one to be worshipped is also the
last one to be taken leave of, with all our details. He will record it in his parade state and
then report to his father on our behalf with extreme kindness and compassion,
guaranteeing Easwara Prasada aplenty! As
per tradition, the witness is supposed to hold his Yagnyopaveetam in one hand
and give witness. Here on the body of
the statue you could note clear markings of his PooNool in three distinct
lines. PiLLaiyar's stomach showing his
contented and satisfied mien will be tied by an 'udhara-banda' rope of a long
chord which in reality is a snake!
37. He is
not a witness for any dispute or misunderstanding between two contending
parties. He is there only on a
self-appointed role, to take care of the visitors to Sri Sailam, so that they
may get their due in terms of Anugraha from Easwara. Of course, true devotees do not bother about
any comparisons with other devotees relating to the quantum of efforts and the
benefits accruing. Still this job has
been undertaken by Sãkshi Ganapathy to ensure that the divine benefits match
the human efforts involved, entirely on his own initiative, recording all the
statistics with paper and pencil, like a true accountant taking his
self-appointed role rather seriously!
is another accountant who keeps all actions, events, intentions, attitudes and
behaviour of all people in the world, a mini Devata known as Chitra Gupta, the
shorty, in the court of Yama Dharma Raja.
The one big God as Para Brhmam or Parameswarã is the 'Sarva Sãkshi' as
the one Witness and Judge rolled into one.
Then there are a number of Devatas as the Heads of Departments for
various areas such as, the Governors of the three main jobs of Creation,
Sustenance and Samhãra; the Education under Saraswathi, Finance under Kubera
and Lakshmi, Indra for rains, Vãyu for Air and so on. Amongst all this, it is Chitra Gupta as the
accountant in Yama's Durbar who is depicted holding the palm-leaf manuscript
with the writing tool. Rarely do we come
across a statue of Chitra Gupta anywhere.
But in Kanchipuram, there is a statue of his in the southern main street
known as 'Raja Veedhi', located centrally between Vaikunda PerumãL Kovil and
Kailãsanãthar Kovil, as though to prove the point that one gets sent to either
of Kailasam or Vaikundam or gets deleted depending on his accounts and reports. He is depicted with his wife is known as
'KarNãmbãL', in the Utsava posture as though ready to go on a parade of
celebration. Accountants in Tamil are
known as 'KarNam or KaNakka Pillai' – 'கர்ணம் அல்லது கணக்கப்பிள்ளை' and it is in the rightness of things that
his wife in known a 'KarNãmbãL'!
39. Having started with Ganapathy in the Telugu
land, I came to the KaNakka PiLLai Chitra Gupta in Kanchipuram. Now let us see the story of one Swami who
started from the Mathura in the North, came right down to Kanchipuram and then
went and settled in Orissa permanently, known as Sãkshi Gopal. He is Sri Krishna Paramãtma, with a name as
Sãkshi Gopal, equally applicable to him as well as his permanent place of
residence in Orissa. Where Brihad
Easwara is located, we call that place 'Brihadeeaswaram' and similarly the
place of 'Kapali' is 'Kapãleeswaram', as we say in Tamil. In the north, in the names they will cut the
end syllable short. 'Rama:' in Sanskrit
becomes 'Ramar' in Tamil and simply 'Ram' in the North Indian languages. Thus
the name of the deity and the place gets the same name such as, Brihadeaswar,
Vaidyanath, Ramnath, Somnath, Triambakeshwar.
Thus the name of the deity and place of his residence are both known as
Sãkshi Gopal. What is the witness he
gave to whom and on which occasion is what I am going tell you now.
was an old Brahmin gentleman from Kanchipuram who started out to go on Kãsi
Yãtra, with a young Brhmachari boy, who was also a Brahmin but of a lower
social standing, accompanying him. On
the way the old man fell ill. The youngster
took good care of the old man by cleaning up, nursing and feeding him day in
and day out, without ever squirming or fretting. Later when the old man recovered slightly,
this boy carried him on his shoulders.
Thus they continued on their Yãtra to Kãsi and later to Matura on the
banks of the Jamuna River. There are no
temples of that period still existing today.
They have all been destroyed by people of such religions who do not like
Idol Worship as well as hate those who do idol worship! So we cannot say as to which temple they went
to! They were both devotees of Sri
Krishna and anyhow ended in some temple of Sri Krishna, their Ishta
had darsan of their Ishta Devata to their hearts' content, the old man felt
highly beholden to the young Brhmachari boy.
He was a very rich man. He had a
lot of assets and a daughter of nubile young age. Out of an extreme sense of gratitude that he
did so much to save him from illness, nursed him back to health and even
physically carried him over many a mile and made possible bathing in the holy
rivers of Ganga and Jamuna and have darsan of his Ishta Murthy Devata; he told
the youngster, "On return to Kanchipuram I will get my only daughter
married to you and transfer all my moveable and immoveable properties to
You". The youngster in all humility
said, "Sir! I did whatever I could
out of sheer humaneness and as required by the situation. Please do not kindle unnecessary expectations
in my mind and then do not befool me and become a cause for my disappointment." His, this statement further reinforced the
old man's resolve. He said, "I will
never dupe you. In the very presence of
Sri Gopala, my Ishta Devata as the Sãkshi here, I vouch-safe that I shall make
you my son-in-law by getting my daughter married to you."
Brhmachari boy was thrilled. Both came
back to Kanchipuram. After reaching back
when the old man saw his beautiful daughter, his vast estates of landed
property and other assets and related them to this boys' financial and otherwise
status in the society; his decision and resolve made in Mathura started
back-tracking. With the passage of time
he was avoiding meeting this boy. So
this boy took courage to broach the subject one day. But the old man changed his tone completely saying,
"What are you talking about? Are
you saying that I should give my daughter, in marriage, to you? I hope that you are in your senses! Anybody hearing this will only laugh." The Brhmachari was concerned lest the old man
may incur the displeasure and wrath of the Ishta Devata in whose presence the
promise had been made. As an orphan and
poor man, his words may not be believed by others of the society also. So he directly put up his complaint to the King
43. As the old man had said, 'Anybody hearing your
claim will only laugh', the King did burst out laughing. He knew of the elder's
status and reputation and social standing.
There was no match in any of the factors that would normally be
considered for a marriage to be arranged.
So he called for the old man so that he could come out with his
version. The old man was clever enough
to insist only about the unbridgeable differences in their social standing. He did say that he highly appreciated the
young man, who was of much help during their trip to Kãsi, but now seems to be
over reaching. That was the time when
people respected the differences between castes and even sub-castes. So the king ruled that in the absence of
suitable witness, he has to set aside the case!
Brhmachari boy was debating in his own mind.
'Who says that there is no witness?
The very Ishta Devata of both of us is there as a witness. But I was keeping this matter unmentioned
since I do not know if we should call for such exalted divine beings as Ishta
Devata to be called for as a witness in mundane matters of a court of law! But so as to save this old man from further
sins, I cannot but take the help of Sri Gopala.' He requested the King, "Sir, please do
not close the case on the grounds of non-availability of witnesses. Sri Gopala of Mathura is the witness. Though as a poor orphan I may not have much of
a reputation and standing here, for us cow-herds and cattle-herds, the Mathura
Nãtha is very close to us as Gopala and he will care enough for me to come as a
witness", he stated with total confidence.
"That is alright. You please
go and bring him. If Sri Krishna
Bhagawan himself is to visit our court of law, there can be no greater
blessings of God for us", said the King!
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